Trial Host: Re-Tek

Trial Partners: Enscape, University of the West of Scotland

Target Products: display equipment, ICT, consumer electronics

Target CRMs: Cobalt, Gold and Silver

Project Link


Collection Activity 1 – Employee Amnesty

When: Sep 2016 – Jan 2017

Where: Various locations across Scotland and England (UK)

What: Amnesty periods where employees can bring household unwanted electricals to be collected via the business WEEE collections. This scheme operated across 2 private companies, 2 not-for-profit organisations, 1 local authority and 3 social enterprises. Items that were suitable for re-use were sorted by Re-Tek and had the data wiped. Items not suitable for re-use had the printed circuit boards removed for the recovery trial and the remaining product was recycled.


Collection Activity 2 – Household Waste and Recycling Centres

When: Sep 2016 – Jan 2017

Where: Cumnock and Kilmarnock (UK)

What: Containers for housing re-usable WEEE are placed next to the existing containers for standard WEEE collections (which focus on recycling and disposal rather than re-use). Residents and site staff are then able to keep potentially re-usable electricals separate to help preserve quality. These items are then assessed for re-use by Re-Tek.


Collection Activity 3 – school collection hubs

When: Sep 2016 – Jan 2017

Where: Strathdon and Aberdeen (UK)

What: Following interactive schools workshops with students, the schools then act as collection hubs for waste electricals. Students are able to bring in waste electricals from home which are then collected and assessed for re-use by Re-Tek.


Collection Activity 4 – University Halls of Residence hubs

When: Dec 2016 – Jan 2017

Where: Unite Halls of Residence – Durham, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow (UK)

What: The concierge at the Unite Halls of Residence act as a collection point for any waste electricals from students at the end of the winter term and the start of the spring term. Leaflets are distributed across all students in the Halls. Re-Tek collect the containers and assess electricals for re-use.



Recovery Activity – Electrochemical CRM extraction from solution

When: Feb 2017 – Sep 2017

Where: Paisley (UK)

What: Proof of concept, laboratory scale trial. The PCBs extracted from the non-reusable electricals are crushed and then put into solution with either acid or different microbes to release the CRMs into solution. These solutions undergo further separation chemistry techniques before passing through an electrochemical cell to extract cobalt, silver and gold from solution.